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Success Story
February 24, 2021


2 min read

Success story: Desert Financial Credit Union, InvestED Program

In this post:

Desert Financial Credit Union (DFCU) is one of the largest credit unions in the United States. As an organization that cares deeply about employee growth and development, Desert Financial had previously established a tuition reimbursement program for its employees. However, the program suffered from low participation and lack of awareness. 

To deepen its lifelong learning culture and commitment to the growth of its people, DFCU needed a new approach to better support workforce education and sought out InStride as the right partner for the job.

InStride led the way in designing and delivering the InvestEd program that allowed for DFCU to give back to its full-time employees to match the investment they have made to the company and its customers.

Program benefits and advantages include:

  • Helps employees gain the in-demand skills they need to advance their careers


  • Utilizes a direct-bill model that means limited out-of-pocket costs for employee learners


  • Grows DFCU’s future workforce by developing a talent pipeline of internal leaders


  • Improves employee engagement and retention by reinforcing its commitment to employee growth and development


  • Differentiates DFCU as an employer that deeply invests in its people

The InStride impact:

  • Increased awareness: After just one month, there was 100% awareness of the program across the organization.


  • Exceeded interest and enrollment goals: Within 90 days of launch, almost one-third of eligible employees have submitted interest and nearly 10% are enrolled, beating DFCU’s own ambitious goals for the program.


  • Expanded program: Just four months after launching, DFCU expanded the InvestED program in two ways: adding more than 100 new skill-building courses and offering employees the ability to share InvestED with their dependents.


  • Combatting student debt: In the first year of the program, DFCU employees avoided more than $12 million in student loan debt.


In 2022, InStride was given a Learning in Practice “Excellence in Partnership” Award by Chief Learning Officer for its work designing a strategic workforce education program with Desert Financial. The awards recognize leaders and organizations who “demonstrate excellence in the design and delivery of workforce learning and development programs.”

Learn more: For a deeper dive, check out the full case study or this video testimonial from one of DFCU’s employee learners.